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Spoiler alert: it isn’t good news.
On September 7th, 2017, it was made public that Equifax had suffered one of the largest cybersecurity breaches in history, and as a result, had left 145.5 million consumers in the United States vulnerable to identity theft. Due to a website application vulnerability, the personally identifiable information of these people was exposed from May until July of that year.
As a result, Equifax was ordered to pick up the $700 million tab to help those affected. Everyone who was eligible to apply was promised their choice of free credit monitoring services, or a cash payment of up to $125.
Now, with almost a year between us and the ruling, there have been no payments made. This is due to a few appeals to the settlement’s approval that have pushed the delivery of these payments out further. Claims are being reviewed by a neutral settlement administrator.
Worse, according to the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Reports, when any of these payments are distributed, they will likely equal much less than the $125 initially promised.
The reason why boils down to simple math: with a set budget dictating how much money is up for grabs out of the total settlement—$31 million out of the $700 million—the more people who stake a claim results in a smaller amount available to distribute to each person.
Regardless, it still isn’t good news for Equifax, and gives an oh-too-clear example of why data security is positively essential for every business.
Consider your own business for a moment: how much personally identifiable information do you have collected and stored for your own purposes? While your total is guaranteed to be dwarfed by the sheer amount of data that Equifax holds, it certainly isn’t insignificant, which means that the fines you could be subjected to wouldn’t be, either.
Fortunately, your business has a means of protecting itself by working with a managed service provider. With an MSP’s assistance, you can better insulate your data against theft via improved and continuously monitored security solutions. As a result, you can focus on your tasks without the added stress of fretting about your security, confident that a team of professionals is attending to any concerns and preventing you from experiencing your own, scaled Equifax breach.
To find out more about what KT Connections has to offer your operations and security, reach out to us at 605-341-3873.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.